55,000 for invented accident: criminologist almost falls for fake police officers

The well-known criminologist Pfeiffer is familiar with criminals and their psyche.

55,000 for invented accident: criminologist almost falls for fake police officers

The well-known criminologist Pfeiffer is familiar with criminals and their psyche. Nevertheless, he almost fell for a fake call from fake police officers: his daughter was involved in an accident and needed money. It is only by chance that the money is not handed over.

With an emotional shock call, con artists almost tricked the criminologist Christian Pfeiffer, as he himself explained. The perpetrators pretended to be police officers, the criminologist from Hanover told journalists. Accordingly, his daughter should have been involved in a car accident with a child and needed 55,000 euros as bail to avoid an arrest warrant. The scammers cleverly faked a realistic phone call, giving details such as the daughter's name and the color of her car, encouraging him to contact his bank.

The fraud was exposed when Pfeiffer called the real police in Hanover after technical problems to establish contact again. The prominent criminologist wanted to use his press conference together with the police in the Lower Saxony state capital of Hanover to draw people's attention to the scam.

Nationwide, there are calls like this again - and people fall for it again and again. In Lower Saxony alone, according to the police, the total number of cases involving wrong police officers in the first half of the year is in the mid-four-digit range, while the number of crimes in which perpetrators stole money is in the upper two-digit range. The scammers often call from abroad, but a German number usually appears on the phone display.

After Pfeiffer noticed the fraud, he tried to catch the fraudsters together with the police. It was clear to him that he was most likely being observed, he said. With covert police protection, Pfeiffer made his way to the bank and handed over a note that read "Fraud: 55,000 euros". The employee put ordinary paper in a small bag. The scammers asked Pfeiffer to bring the money to Hildesheim. For security reasons, the police stopped the action. The danger was too high that something could happen to Pfeiffer on the way. So the perpetrators were not found.

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